How to Make Homemade Soup for a Healthy Family Dinner

With the cool weather finally on its way, its time for you to learn how to make homemade soup.  Do you buy it in cans?  Or the new and trendy boxed soups?  Well, I do that occasionally, too, but if you make homemade soup, you can rest assured that you are providing a healthy family dinner with simple ingredients that YOU get to control.  Sure, you may choose to load it with cheese and cream like my homemade broccoli soup but you know what ISN'T in there?  Preservatives, artificial colors, and a huge amount of salt!  Natural ingredients are best … [Read more...]

Families Eating Dinner Together: Tips to Make it Fun and Stress Free!

Have you tried to sit down to a family dinner, only to have it be a horrible experience?  Cooking chaos, kids crying, picky eaters and a huge mess does not have to be the norm at dinner time.  I wanted to share a few tips for a successful family dinner because it is a family activity that I am incredibly passionate about.  There have been numerous studies that have shown the benefits of families eating dinner together and getting kids started young will make things easier!This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through … [Read more...]

The Importance of Sun Protection for Eyes and Choosing the Best Sunglasses

Sun protection for eyes is something we all need to worry about, no matter what your age is. During the summer, I spend a lot of time outside in the sun.  Whether it's gardening, going for a walk, or heading to the pool, if the weather is warm and the sun is bright, it's time to get out of the house.  Whenever I am outside for any length of time, I always make sure to have on sunscreen.  I slather the kids up before they hit the pool (and they complain mightily the whole time!) and my husband always puts his on when he heads out for a run.  Sun … [Read more...]

Environmental Projects for Kids that They Will Actually Enjoy Doing!

When my children were young, summer vacations were filled with educational opportunities.  We took field trips to the zoo, got educational books out of the library, and found other ways to prevent summer brain drain. I researched environmental projects for kids that would get them excited about learning.  Quite a bit of time was spent supplementing my children's education.  I chose lessons that focused on topics that I felt were important.  Art, music, the environment, and science are losing focus in our elementary schools and those are all … [Read more...]

How to Choose a Ripe Watermelon for a Sweet and Juicy Treat!

The weather here in Georgia is warming up and the pool opens in just a few weeks.  I am looking forward to BBQs, pool parties, and (of course) some fresh watermelon.  Georgia actually grows a lot of watermelon down in the south of the state.  Even though the fruit is local, I still need to know how to choose a ripe watermelon or it won't be as sweet and juicy as it should be. If you plan on picking up a whole watermelon this summer, make sure you follow these tips before you buy!This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase … [Read more...]

Family Activism and Helping Teens Make a Difference

Family activism is tough when you have kids. If you have teens, you probably realize by now that they enjoy spending their free time sleeping, eating, shopping and hanging with friends. While those are all fun pursuits for teens, they aren't what I consider great life goals.  Sleeping til noon and eating an entire bag of chips in one sitting aren't activities that are going to change the world anytime soon.I am trying to raise my teens with an awareness for social issues. While we are definitely on the 'far left' in terms of our beliefs, I … [Read more...]

6 Porch Design Ideas for Simple Outdoor Enjoyment

With the onset of spring, you might be looking for a few porch design ideas this month. One of the things I love most about visiting my parents up north is their wraparound porch. I spend my morning enjoying coffee while the birds sing and the kids sit outside slurping on popsicles in the summer heat.  We use our back patio for the same types of things.  Relaxing, enjoying nature, and spending time with family.In some areas of the country, it's porch season year-round.  For many others, porch season seems far too short. Porches are one of … [Read more...]

Sustainable Family Activites for Teaching Kids about the Environment

One day, when my son was about 6 years old, we were driving down the road and stopped at a red light.  Along the side of the road, there was a new building being built and I commented, "I wonder what they are building there".  My son answered me "Probably something we don't need".  I had to chuckle at that and it really hit home at that exact moment that my kids learn from the things I do and say.  Teaching kids about the environment is something we have to do every day by modeling sustainable behavior and explaining our choices to them in … [Read more...]

Spring Cleaning Your Office: Don’t Let It Lead to Identity Theft!

Have you started getting the itch to dust, organize and declutter your home?  When the crocuses and tulips start peeking their heads out of the ground, I know it is close to spring!  Along with the nice weather comes the open windows, the gardening, and the spring cleaning.  Each room of the house has its own set of 'chores' that I try and do once a year.  Spring cleaning your office is is a great way to prepare for tax time.   If you want to join me on my spring cleaning journey, I will include a few affiliate links for things that might come … [Read more...]

Questions To Ask Your Pharmacist for Better Health and Increased Savings

This post about questions to ask your pharmacist has been sponsored by SearchRx,  however, all opinions expressed here are my own.For 15 years I worked in a retail pharmacy.  I saw thousands of patients come and go during the time that I worked there. Some were sick, some were in a hurry, and many were dealing with cranky children.  Many of them came through the drive through and barely looked at me while I filled their prescriptions.  Far too many of them just accepted their medications without once talking to us about them.  Sure, we … [Read more...]

What to Put in Military Care Packages

Do you have a service member in your family that needs some love this holiday season?  Are you wondering what to put in military care packages? When I was little, my father was in the Naval Reserves.  I have fond memories of him in his shiny black shoes and spiffy white hat.  I was too young to understand much about war or what military men and women were dedicating themselves to.  As an adult, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices of these brave men and woman.  They dedicate so much of their lives to protecting and serving our nation … [Read more...]

Cheese Board Ideas for Delicious Entertaining Made Easy!

These cheese board ideas have been sponsored by Stella Cheese but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.Everyone has different traditions regarding the holidays.  For some people, black Friday shopping is a ton of fun.  Others enjoy caroling or Elf on the Shelf.  For me, the things that make holidays most memorable are food and family.  We just spent a week with out of town guests that we haven't seen in two years.  Our week was full of fun times and LOTS of food!  Since I have a serious cheese addiction, I will tell you right … [Read more...]

How to Prepare for Company so Your Guests Feel at Home!

Fall is finally here and the holidays are fast approaching. Now is the season for visiting friends and family and you may be wondering how to prepare for company so they feel at home during their visit.  As much as I hate to think about it, the chaos of the holidays will be here very quickly!  Shopping, baking, wrapping and holiday parties are a lot of fun but add them to an already hectic schedule and you get one really stressed out mama.  One of the things I really enjoy about the holidays is having company to cook for but having house guests … [Read more...]

5 Awesome Reasons to Feed Organic Food to Teenagers

This post about organic food is sponsored by Annie's Homegrown  but all opinions expressed here are my own.Whenever I see commercials for organic food, there always seems to be babies in it.  Or maybe a few toddlers and a stray preschooler or two. Rarely do I see commercials for organic food that feature teenagers.  I always wonder why that is?  Sure, I started feeding my kids organic food when they were babies but they don't magically just grow out of their need for the highest quality natural and organic food.  In fact, I think there are … [Read more...]

How to Make Nature Walks with Kids More Educational

Are you considering nature walks with kids this weekend? When my children were younger, we spent a lot of time outside.  Mainly because I was a stay at home mom and any mess they made outside was one that I didn't have to clean up.  They could also be loud, run around like maniacs and tire themselves out so they would take a good nap.  Outside time every day kept us all sane!  I was also very passionate about their education, even at a young age.  While I didn't home school, I made sure to find something that we could learn about every day.  … [Read more...]

10 Eco Friendly Date Ideas to Help Your Love Life Go Green!

Many, many years ago, I met a wonderful man who wooed me with flowers, cute little love notes, walks through town holding my hand, and other romantic yet simple gestures.  We weren't necessarily thinking about eco friendly date ideas.  We were just poor! We laughed, snuggled, and skipped a few classes while we relished our budding relationship.  Fast forward 25 years, 2 kids, a few jobs and a whole lot of stress and my husband and I have lost a bit of the romance we used to have in our relationship.   Weeks are long, the kids are annoying, the … [Read more...]

Why Pack a Lunch for Work? Here are 5 Awesome Reasons!

Thank you Healthy Choice for sponsoring this why pack a lunch discussion. Visit your local retailer to pick up your own Healthy Choice Simply Cafe Steamer or Original Cafe Steamer meal today!Every morning, my husband leaves for work at 6 AM.  And every day (or just about every day) he walks out the door with his handy, dandy little lunch box.  No, it doesn't have cartoon characters on it like it did when he was a kid.  But, nevertheless, it contains a healthy lunch along with real silverware and a cloth napkin. He has been doing this ever … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Preserve Hot Peppers for Spicy Meals All Year Long!

As we move into late August, the heat loving plants are thriving and I am looking for ways to preserve hot peppers.  In late spring I planted many different varieties of these spicy little buggers...jalapenos, habaneros, seranos and many more.  Of course, I couldn't just plane ONE of each of these varieties...oh no!  I had to plant at least two of everything I bought.  Which means that as we head into late summer and early fall I now have so many hot peppers I don't even know what to do with them all.  For months I have been giving them to … [Read more...]

How to hike with kids and actually enjoy it!

Summer is drawing to a close and Fall will be sneaking in soon.  Once the days start to cool off, my husband and I enjoy finding time to head out into the woods for some quality hiking trips.  We had to learn years ago how to hike with kids since we have no family around to play babysitter for us.  And truthfully I WANT my kids out in nature with us.  Yes, hiking with kids isn't always as much fun as hiking with just adults.  They tend to be slower, louder, and more prone to tripping or getting hurt.  However, I am a firm believer in the idea … [Read more...]